This election has been difficult for me, not only because the most liberal President in American history was reelected, but also because of what it says about my country.
There’s been a lot of armchair quarterbacking by politicians and pundits about what happened on November 6th and how the Republican Party can fix what’s broken. Sadly, most of the “solutions” offered have come to the conclusion that all the GOP needs to do to win in the future is to act more like Democrats. And in a way, they’re right. Because this election has proven that the results had little to do with the differences between Republicans and Democrats, but rather it reveals the condition of the American heart.
Gary Barkalow (Founder of The Noble Heart) is an expert on how individuals can live the life they are created to live and how the keys to living that life are written on the human heart. In a recent blog post, A Dangerous But Necessary Road, he shares the following:
I recently overheard a conversation between two men. One said, “The strong rule the weak. That’s how your God made the world.” The other responded, “God makes us strong only for a while, so that we can help each other.” To which the first man responded, “My God makes me strong so I can live my life.”
This conversation was in a movie I re-watched called First Knight, the King Arthur and Camelot story. The first and last man to be quoted was Malagant, the fallen knight from Arthur’s Round Table.
Malagant captured in a sentence the general belief of the era that we are living in – “My God makes me strong so I can live my life.” In a word this belief can be described as narcissism – and is defined as excessive self-admiration and self-centeredness.
Though Gary is addressing the individual, when I read this, a thought struck me about America. Could the reason Americans reelected a man who has repeatedly demonstrated a total disregard of the principles established by our Founding Fathers be because America has become narcissistic—full of excessive self-admiration and self centeredness?
The next part of Gary’s post answered my question:
Erwin McManus wrote in his book Stand Against the Wind, “When we are in love with ourselves, we are prone to listen only to what we want to hear. We become willing to trade insight for affirmation. We want to feel good about ourselves more than we want to become good.”
There it is!
America has fallen in love with herself. She has wandered so far from her heart—a heart of God-given liberty—that she no longer desires to hear what she needs to hear, but only what she wants to hear. In a nutshell, when the people casting the votes are only looking for a rubber stamp of their behavior, it’s not necessary to be different—just tickle their ears (II Timothy 4:3).
So, what needs to happen in order for America to be restored to the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? The answer is in Gary’s blog:
The pursuit of God and our calling is through the restoration and release of our heart. It is desire, not duty; passion, not passivity that leads and compel us in this pursuit. And yet on this narrow road of desire and passion, we are exposed to the deadly sheer drop-offs of self-centeredness.
To travel this essential road, we must build guard rails – structures that will save our life when we are too close to the edge, but may feel damaging when we encounter them.
America wasn’t given the gift of liberty simply to provide a place for self-centered individuals to live their lives how they choose. Instead, liberty was given to equip us to live as a nation filled with the desire and passion to realize our calling of being the great city on a hill Ronald Reagan spoke of.
As this election shows, America has veered from her heart and has plummeted over the cliff of self-centeredness. The guard rails—such as the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Faith of our Fathers—have been destroyed under the misguided assumption that the road is safe enough to maneuver without them.
America can find her purpose again when she realizes her woundedness and her need for restoration. It won’t be found by attempting to journey the narrow road of desire and passion for liberty without the guard rails necessary to avoid the crashing cliffs.
While America would prefer to avoid them, Conservatives and Libertarians must be the road crew that rebuilds the guardrails of safety. That’s how America will find her heart again, not by acting like the progressives who tore them down in the first place.